Topaz/Ritz Dumbo


Barge music. Shush, war chalet

terrarium cages, lamb ears.

Pink panties cry rage my doppelganger

wheeling a baby. Shadows make my arms skinny

crescent moon motion sickness.

I’m sad, slightly active time-of-my-life

too many charm bracelets planets and radishes dangling off.

I know all the old songs

not about to catch fire but I could get naked.

I’ve flaked and I’ve ghosted mastered that hard city look

bought curlers at Ricky’s curled my hair like a flapper’s

come back with cream cheese fringe and disease

and my mother said you’re not getting old

but it’s about time and death, an unfolding

the bay spiders riding strands across Gramercy Park

black sequins in bed the hysteria

of tiny waists. Shy on the phone

in my black negligee knowing men are outside

a strawberry streak in my sheets

asking how do you stand a leopard-print tanktop

a land where modest girls walk

pill bottles giving new depth to the beach.

I’m trying too hard I’m not trying hard enough

my mother said a helicopter

above the smallpox hospital

and Sabbath be a cannibal

another bride walks by.

Jessie Janeshek's second full-length book of poems, The Shaky Phase, is forthcoming from Stalking Horse Press. Her chapbooks are Spanish Donkey/Pear of Anguish (Grey Book Press, 2016), Rah-Rah Nostalgia (dancing girl press, 2016), and Hardscape (Reality Beach, forthcoming, 2017). Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010) is her first full-length collection.

#JessieJaneshek #poetry

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